Actor Vladimir Penev: Theater is a place where we have chance to fly together


Telling the story of successes of a person who refuses to live according to generally accepted but distorted social norms is a real challenge. Moreover, through his behavior and way of life, he wants to set a good example "in times when evil is widely respected." Exceptional professionalism and attention to every detail of his roles, both in cinema and on the theatre stage, are characteristics of actor Vladimir Penev. “Being famous is far from a goal for me. I just want to do my job and be happy with what I do," the actor said in an interview with Radio Bulgaria. Great popularity arrived when he took one of the major roles in the highly successful Bulgarian TV series "Undercover". The fact that the crime series reflecting on life in the Bulgarian underworld has been watched by viewers in more than 180 countries is a reason to recall the success of the series:

Vladimir Penev featuring in Undercover“There is no formula and recipe that one keeps to in order to have guaranteed success. In Undercover, I think success was a result of a very good script, right directors, and precise selection of actors. We also had enough time and we did not hurry. This was an opportunity out of which we unfortunately cannot make any special conclusions.”

According to Penev, lack of enough time when shooting an episode in series causes film crews to miss some interesting details that could affect the viewer even more. Apart from his roles in cinema, Bulgarians know the actor as a voice behind the scenes. Having dubbed numerous feature films and cartoons, he is willing to reveal the secret of good dubbing, but adds that because of lack of funds, quality in Bulgaria is not at the right level:

“In all countries, synchronization is important part of dubbing. This is a perfectly deliberate translation that is consistent with the vowels, especially when the character is seen in a close-up. The purpose is that words spoken match closely the opening of the mouth. This is not done in Bulgaria. The text is presented with a sense of balance between its pure information value and acting style. The reason is that 40% of the original phonogram is still heard, and overacting does not work well usually.”

Penev marking his 60th birthday on stage in the play FatherBoth cinema and dubbing, however, remain in the background when Vladimir Penev starts talking about his roles on stage. The truth is that in theatre he feels best and most useful to people. When choosing the roles he plays, it is important for him that the story has a lesson and is emotional, because playing on stage is primarily playing with emotions and feelings. The true talent of an actor is seen when, balancing between the two, he succeeds in making the audience forget about everyday worries and look at life from a different angle. It is also extremely important to respect every single person who has taken the time to appreciate the work of actors, in order for theater to be a place where everyone gets a chance to fly.

Recently, Vladimir Penev received from the President of Bulgaria the Order of "Sts. Cyril and Methodius" for his significant contribution in the field of culture and art. Vladimir Penev also became an honorary citizen of Sofia. According to him, however, the two awards result not so much from his work, but from his active work in various social causes, which have made institutions address problems in the urban environment, as well as in society as a whole.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: private library
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